MONTREAL — More than 200 Jewish outdoor enthusiasts are expected to gather in the Mont Tremblant area over the Labour Day weekend for the Mosaic Outdoor Clubs of America’s 20th annual international event.
The event, which runs from Sept. 2 to 6 at the Harry Bronfman Y Country Camp, two hours north of Montreal, takes place in a different locale each year, usually in the United States, to unite Jewish adults from around the world with a common interest in wilderness adventure.
Mosaic founder Steve Millmond, who will be on hand to help celebrate the anniversary, was inspired to create the organization after enjoying hikes with Jews in Israel.
“Before Mosaic began, the term ‘Jewish outdoor enthusiast’ was viewed as an oxymoron in America,” Millmond said. “Yet the Jewish people have long embraced the great outdoors, ever since biblical days when Moses traipsed through the desert. So thanks to Mosaic, Jewish outdoor enthusiasts around the world can continue to experience together the awakening of their primal roots as they enjoy the wilderness.”
Mosaic is non-profit and volunteer run, with more than 25 clubs in the United States, Canada and Israel.
The festivities include an environmental service project and “green tips” for participants to implement back home.
The Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) will also participate in the gathering. NCC’s regional vice-president, Nathalie Zinger, will discuss conservation efforts in the region.
Attendees will have the opportunity to hike, bike, kayak, canoe, white-water raft on the Rouge River, rock climb, horseback ride and play a variety of other sports including tennis, basketball and even try canoe hockey.
Also planned are guided nature walks by a naturalist and photographer, nightly entertainment and socializing around a bonfire, and a musical Shabbat and Havdalah service under the stars. The Y Country Camp is set on 650 acres, amid three lakes and two hills. A tour of Montreal before the weekend will also be offered. Mosaic hopes to establish a club here.
This will be Sharon Mittelman’s 15th time attending the annual Mosaic event.
“There’s nothing like a long weekend where I can forget all about ‘real life’ and become, once again, a camper. It’s a vacation filled with so many things I love to do… hiking, water sports, and spending time outdoors,” she said.
“We sleep in cabins, eat at the mess hall, and sit around a campfire. Every year I reconnect with the wonderful friends I’ve made from across the country, and I always meet new friends and make strong new bonds.”
To register, visit www.mosaicoutdoor.org. Included in the cost are cabin accommodations and all meals and snacks, which will be certified kosher, as the camp is.